Wednesday, 29 December 2010
I had a dream earlier this week. It was in a gym class setting that took place in a school yard. As I walked in, I saw a guy with a moustache, apparently my boyfriend, stretching his arm covered of tattoos. As he saw me, he waved at me and made a sign to join him. There was also another person right next to him, also stretching. That person looked at me in a way that I never saw before, a nostalgic stare with a slight serene smile on his face. Because I saw he was there too so, I stayed distant and went to sit in a corner instead, far away from them both.
That dream actually summarizes a significant part of my life. A guy with moustache and tattoos ha, that’s totally my type. I sat away from them both because I stopped touching anything that has to do with one particular person. I deleted every trace of him. The nostalgic stare and peaceful smile means that time have passed but I’m the only one left affected. I don't even dare to walk near the intersections where our paths may potentially cross again. Why in a school yard? I guess it’s because I’m still bound to run into him once in a while. The city is so small.
…of course, that was just a dream. In reality, he’s already become a wrinkled old man who hasn’t achieved anything in life. He’s still struggling between his mediocre job and school. It is true that goals and achievements are stupid and it's a relief not having to bear them. But in his case, he cannot afford to live without a mission on one hand and he's not competent enough to accomplish it on the other. Underachiever. Then again, I can’t help sneaking a peek into his life from time to time, which inevitably results in uncomfort. His childish manners and stupidity make me sick. And so, I would blame myself again for letting my curiosity get me every time.
I once had the chance to attend a drawing class. I met some truly interesting people from various backgrounds and countries. I saw myself in some of them trying to find their place in a foreign country. There were also the wiser ones with much more life experience than I do. They offered me with new perspectives and helped me think through some matters - you can never delete someone you truly loved. I've loved and lost but every love is different and none of those ever made the object of such ambivalence. Some days I hate, some days less, some days I smile and others, I cry. It's confusing and I haven’t found the means to totally accept it yet. On some occasions, I even wish he dies in a car accident.
Introspection is the subconscious opening of scars permitting one self to bleed and feel again. Introspection allows emotional growth and connection with others. Unfortunately, introspection was only possible because it was an accidental outcome of self-interest that took its worst form. Yet again, I’m ambivalent; regretful and thankful at the same time. They say every incident in our lives drives us close to our purpose and I hope that's not another comforting phrase. Here's an exert that I liked from Above his Shoulders:
Some may picture the leaf's journey as a lonely one, but I beg to differ. A leaf that falls from a tree is no more lost than any of us. Destiny predetermines when and where we fall. The purpose may not become apparent until years later. We may feel lost and lonely like the leaf in autumn, waiting unknowingly for the gust of wind to set us free. Our purposes may vary, with each event changing our trajectory ever so slightly. How we interact with others, what we say, whether we become social or remain withdrawn, it is with a purpose and toward an outcome. The leaf may end up in a squirrel's nest, providing a bit of warmth for the winter to come. It may fall to the ground to get raked in a pile waiting for a child to dive in, or bear witness to lovers falling while embracing, as the leaves build up their heads.
...and I admit this; it’s true that I'm aware of things that I cannot live by. Maybe someday, I will be able to entirely accept and find that purpose, if there really is one.
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
...but ambivalence is life. The most beautiful things I've seen in my life are ambiguous. Real beauty is always debatable and hence, memorable. I also see despair unto faith and weakness unto strength. It's a place where the fragility of life is recognized and births are celebrated. I see lots of love and sweet smiles there...
I visited my grandmother at the hospital today. She seemed tired but we still had a good talk, we always do.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Do they even make those anymore? Probably not.
Okay, I’m technology-retarded.
I don’t even know what they are called. Tapes, maybe? I don’t know. I grew up listening to the same few ones in every car ride. They were eventually put away under a pile of dust because nowadays, technology moves faster than we realize it. But no matter how fast technology changes, I still love every single song and the lyrics that go with it. They spread a much different ambiance than CDs. Playing those tapes again brings back so many memories...
I remember the house where I used to live, the lady that gave me candies when she sees me on my balcony, the hole under the stairs that became the reason for my fear of spiders, the bunk beds, that ordinary painting hanging on the wall that found its way to intrigue me, the couch in the basement in which my grand-mother often laid and how I always tried to kick her off. Apparently, I were not the most obedient child but, everyone liked me so much…probably because I were so cute and adorable. I always received many presents, like stuffed animals, from teachers and neighbours even when it wasn't my birthday. I still have them. Oh, and there was my unreasonable preschool friend that I liked but she constantly played mean tricks on me; she always wins because I were so gullible. I also recall how I were always the only one who stayed awake during naptime at the daycare, my pink blanket with my name on it, the classmates that were jealous because the music teacher repeatedly picked me first...they were stupid enough to not even notice the obvious pattern. When I cried on the first day of elementary school, when I was the only one who didn’t cry when the school was flooded, when I talked to myself while playing with barbies, and one day I decided to decapitate them after drawing over their face. Then I remember that big wooden table in the kitchen where I used to leave my pink lunch box in a corner - my corner that no one touches. Sometimes, my baby sister would cry out loud when my parents yell at her at dinner…and I’d tell her to come to me.
Those were the best memories. However while I was there, I didn't actually feel that happiness or anything at all. And I think I start to understand why happiness can only be experienced in retrospect, which cartoonist Tim Kreider depicted with such wisdom in his article, Averted Vision:
In this respect it resembles averted vision, a phenomena familiar to backyard astronomers whereby, in order to pick out a very faint star, you have to let your gaze drift casually to the space just next to it; if you look directly at it, it vanishes. And it’s also true, come to think of it, that the only stars we ever see are not the “real” stars, those cataclysms taking place in the present, but always only the light of the untouchable past.I read this article many times. I had a hard time grasping its full meaning the first times I read it, but the tapes helped me understand those words better. I understand why it's usually after a break up that we fall in love and why it's only after we've lost that we start to appreciate. I'm sure we've all once blamed ourselves for being such fools but, have anyone thought that we might have been misguided by popular beliefs?
The fresh heartbreak was, in a sense, like being in a foreign country; everything seemed alien, brilliant and glinting. It was as if I’d been flayed, so that even the air hurt. When you’re that unhappy, any glimmer of beauty or consolation feels like running into an old friend abroad, or seeing mountaintops through smog. Maybe we mistakenly think we want “happiness,” which we tend to picture in very vague, soft-focus terms, when what we really crave is the harder-edged intensity of experience.When we're so fully engaged in an experience, we don't think about asking ourselves whether we're happy or not but the second we do, we cease to be. Maybe the purpose of life is to create more of those happy memories by loosing ourselves in the intensity of the moment, which in turn stays encoded in the sounds, smells and other senses that were present at that very moment. In my case, some of my happiest memories stayed in those songs.
I used to ask my mom every day "Mom, did I grow up? Am I a year older now? When will I be older? Did my face change? Am I prettier now"? Finally...it's not all that great being grown up. Everything changed now. Now, no one dares to approach me because of my intimidating face; I don’t look so adorable anymore. The other day, I was shopping during my break at Pharmaprix and saw my favourite brand of chocolate chip cookies when I were little. My mom used to put some in my pink lunch box that she'd fill at a certain interval only. I can only eat those in the pink lunch box and once I finished them, I’d beg my mom to give me more but of course, it was usually a negative answer. Now that I think about it, she did a great job in developing my self-discipline. Now, I can eat whatever I want but I don’t eat those chocolate chip cookies anymore. And it made me realize that I became too obsessed with my weight and calorie intake. Also, everyone in my family eats separately wherever they want at this point. My parents don’t even have the chance to yell at anyone anymore because no one talks to anybody. I no longer talk to my sister and no one really knows what’s going on in each other’s life…
It makes me wonder what it was like in the 80's. Some of the songs were recorded by my mom and I started imagining what her life was like when she was about my age and already married, when she was bored in an empty house and trying to find something fun to do in this unfamiliar country, without her family and friends. It must have been lonely. I tried to imagine how she pictured her future. Was it much different from the reality of today? It must be. It makes me think that I should be nicer to her.
They say great songs can change our lives. I'm glad I found those tapes :)
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
I finished my last exam yesterday and now, I finally graduated! FUCK YEAH! I swore to myself I had to get out of here before I turn 23 haha and I made it, oh my god! I'm so happy I wanted to scream right after my exam. Pretty much everyone who decide to study in accounting will want a CA designation at some point but, not even half of them can actually meet the admission requirements. I didn't even want to say it out loud like everyone else before because I'm not a talker and I don't say things I might not be able to do. There were so many times I thought I would never make it because I really am not a book-smart person at all. In fact, I've always failed everything at school. Even my mom always said "Which parts of you look like a student?"...."Are you going to a fashion show or to school?!"..."Do you even have a school bag"? People who now assume that I naturally do well have no idea how hard I worked. I had to study day and night, all day, everyday, retook classes and sometimes even paid people to tutor me. Yeah I know, I'm stupid right? But now, it’s finally not wasted.
I was cleaning my room yesterday and I found a music sheet stand...I almost forgot that I used to play violin, but I stopped due to time constraints. When I think about it, there are really too many things I lost since university...there were also things I voluntarily gave up. One obvious thing is that I stopped hanging out with some friends. It was lonely but I also learned to stand closer to myself. There were times I wondered whether it was worth it but now, I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing anymore. There are always trade-offs and choices to be made. Goodbye sometimes means a new start...it could be the key for freedom. I still remember how determined I were to better my life and to be honest, I don't miss the "good old days" at all. When I look at the things I gained and how I improved as a person, I'm convinced it's all worth it.
...but I do plan on going back to school next summer for a CA designation, so it's not actually over, ha :P
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Like I said, I rarely leave my house anymore; I don't get dressed up or look pretty, I don't do my hair, I don't talk to anybody so I don't ever get excited or angry over anything. I'm just home laying around and grubbing, reading, or watching movies while stuffing myself with unhealthy food, ha. And you know what? I'm not particularly depressed about being anti-social and out of sync...because the busy schedule, sometimes, makes me feel like a ghost walking around. I'm just making time for myself now. Among all the different layers that I have; the one I have in private is the one I'm most comfortable with. That's the only one that allows the possibility of living in truth.
Do I sound like a hypocrite when I say I don't like to draw attention to myself?
Maybe I’m on my period.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Outside was pouring
All was hopeless in this home
And no one's speaking
No one creeping
To see if she was on the phone
And you were quiet
This routine riot is all but practical to me
And if we see it why can't we be it?
Can we let each other be?
It won't be better than I remember it before
And this month only
Would be so lonely
And not so holy anymore
New year's eve came
But nothing had changed
All the problems just got worse
We sat in silence
The routine science
Could heal the sickness we rehearse
And if I'm talking
My words are mocking
The deaf ears they have fallen on
These words are tainted
With years of jaded
In a sense that's all but gone
It won't be better than I remember it before
And this month only
Would be so lonely
And not so holy anymore
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
2010 was an overall difficult year for me. There were some memorable ups, but mostly unforgettable downs. What was forgotten was read back to me and the lessons taught in the form of deceiving and fearing were painful to learn. There were moments when I even started questioning the reason of my useless existence. Nightmares and dreams of flight were frequent. Although difficult, it was also an important year and it will possible be the one I remember the most because this year, I have finally decided to wake up and take the first step in overcoming the fears that caused that decade of silence. This is my first attempt in recognizing the girl I see in the mirror every day; the one I suppressed with the accompanied grief.
"Man, that chick is strong!" I remember that guy, who I barely knew, saying about me. I thought I were too... but today, I finally accepted that I'm definitely not a strong person. I'm just very tough...which is very different from being strong.
I recently stumbled across some psychological articles…I had a hard time reading them because every word was so sharp and heavy on me. However, revisiting the facts did help me understand why I react the way I do and why I always tend to make bad choices. I did many things that normal girls wouldn't do. My life's pattern and behavioral problems were predicted in those research papers with such exactitude that it is hard to believe. Life was never really what I could make it to be; it was prescribed to me too early when I didn't have the power to control nor to protect myself. They say people with similar backgrounds often learn to become perpetrator, an emotionally hurtful one, one that is verbally assaulting and critical. And that really scares me because I can recognize myself along those lines among others that I don't even want to mention. I'm scared to hurt people I love because I know exactly how to hurt them and to eventually become what I were always terrified of. Is that what I’ve become already?
Those who have been close to me at some point should have been able to notice that I'm different…different in a way not to be proud of, perhaps a little strange. When the horrifying incidents occured, I were too young and I didn’t have the knowledge to rationalize things. But even at that age, I already knew that being happy will be harder for me compared to average people. That's how cruel the world is. Even now, I'm still reluctant to ask for help and tell people what exactly happened because it’s shameful; I don't want to be judged and to be misunderstood.
I only told two people. The first time I did was nearly a decade ago, I didn't say it properly because I didn't know how so, I wasn't taken seriously. I wish I were smarter back then. The second time happened more recently, I told someone the truth after denying it. I honestly regretted both times and I should’ve kept it to myself. We all know that quote right? "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" I'm still amazed, in more ways than one, every time I hear it. What if no one will love you after they know what you actually are? They often say how they love my self-confidence...but what if that's merely an overbearing conceitedness that covers an incredibly low self-esteem? What if that face is a just pretty shell that masks a troubled personality? What if those long legs and short skirts are just what I use to shield my weaknesses and insecurities?
I used to remind myself that I’m strong and nobody needs to know about the horrors of my childhood, the past doesn’t affect me. When you repeat a lie too many times, you eventually end up believing it, so I grew up thinking that I’ve left it behind. The truth is that not only I haven't but, it is reflected in all facets of my life. Over the years, on different occasions, I would encounter people or find myself in situation that triggers the memories of that trauma and I would burst out of anger or tears. People would think I’ve lost my mind...and then after the fact, I would act normal again and tell people that I don’t have an idea why it happened. Deep inside, I knew exactly why but I wasn’t strong enough to face it. I remember one time, I was sent to the ER twice in one month. When the doctor came in, he asked me a few questions and commanded me to do something. I started feeling uncomfortable and anxious ...like the way it used to be when I were younger, when I were vulnerable and didn't have control over my body. The next thing I know, I started crying out loud. He was probably shocked that I acted that way so he called in the nurses. Their eyes...they all looked at me like I were some abnormal creature. They must have thought that I were crazy. And maybe I were actually as crazy as everyone thought.
I know I’m not the most unfortunate one though. I were lucky enough to cross paths with someone who helped me out. I never encountered someone that I can say was really strong, but I can tell with certainty that Kevin is one of the strongest people I know. Not many understand why I still keep my promises even after so long...but he was really the only one who never let me down, so of course I have to. I never promise anything to anyone but when I do, I keep them forever. He was very generous...the most generous on the planet and he didn’t even have an idea. He was responsible, tolerated me and my flared tempers, respected me for who I am...he really was a real man. It brings tears to my eyes just to know that, once upon a time, I was a princess. Once upon a time, someone real was there entirely for me...at least once. That marked the turning point in my life. It was because of him that I know it's still possible to trust someone, to care about them genuinely without fearing that they use our weaknesses to affirm their power and I learned to appreciate the small things in life. I owe him everything
...I have to mention that we barely speak the same language so he can't lie to me even if he wanted to, ha. Just kidding. No but seriously, that's the good thing because communication was never a big problem: Whatever he wanted to tell me, he had to show me with actions rather than redundant words. Although we each have to go our own separate ways now, I’m still thankful I met him.
I was actually already on the right path for recovery after that. I was positive and loving life. Sometimes, I smiled like an idiot for no reason. I felt like a newborn again. Unfortunately, I was really the only one who improved, the cruelty of this world only worsened. Surrounded by all those dirty lies, I have to admit that it was hard to remember the things Kevin taught me without anyone reminding me… but I tried hard and stopped being so aggressive. But certainly, the story never ends just right there. The closer I get to feelings, the further that I'm feeling from alright. The more I step into the sun, the more I step out of the light. One day, someone brought the memories from that trauma back and reinforced them. I was told to get affection is to put out sexually. That was the last thing I wanted to be reminded of. Something I’ve been wrongly taught in my childhood. Something I tried to move away from. I can't even find the right words to describe the way that person made me feel; it was lower than low. Despite that, I were not strong enough to respect my boundaries and to burn the bridges. I even feel guilty…was I really the one who asked for it? That was when I fell back down that self-destructive path bearing a grudge that I'm still not able to let go.
Sometimes, when our lives are so difficult and then something fantastic that we've been longing for so long comes about, we end up feeling like we're not worth it. And I remember how I always found the most unreasonable excuse to push them away. I did that too many times. What was not broken, I destroyed. I'm so hyper-vigilant and restlessly in control of everything that I came to believe that I’m smart for being able to see through people’s bullshit. The truth is that I actually have a hard time judging people's trustworthiness. On the other hand, I would stick around those that reflect the energy of what I'm terrified- the controlling type. I would play the victim and fall in that doormat syndrome. I clearly knew it was just gross psychological manipulation because victims know how to be victims; no one should believe a word that comes out of my mouth. My lies are so believable that even I, sometimes, happen to believe them. Maybe that’s a self-abusive pattern that stems back too far and too early in my life.
Today, I'm an adult and I'm knowledgeable enough to understand that I wasn't the one at fault, but knowing the theory is useless when the mind do not sync with the body. I know those two entities were divided apart too early to fix them right now. It is maybe too late for me to make it right.
That's me, behind that tough girl mask. Still haven’t been strong enough to grow out of it. Still struggling, still trying to recover and still not courageous enough to tell the world. During difficult times, I try to recall of that one time when someone proved me, with actions, the opposite of what I thought would never be possible. I can't be thankful enough for the undeserved love. It gives me hope. Hope is one of the most important things in the world because it can save lives. That’s the best thing Kevin left me with.
…but in all honesty, I'm still angry and I still think that's unfair. Why me? I really could've lived a simpler and happier life. Why do I have to be that girl with tons of issues…those are stains that will follow me and will continue to affect my life until the day I die. Who can I tell? Who will stay and who will go?
That would be my New Year resolution; be stronger. I need to be strong because only strength will get me further, toughness won’t. I need to take better care of myself, respect my own boundaries and stop falling because no one will pick me up again. I still don’t know if I'll be able to recover completely and the percentage of people who actually do is proven to be low…but I'll keep track of my progress in this blog and maybe gradually become more open about it and accept it. I'm not going to forget or suppress those memories again; the goal is to be able to look back on everything objectively and remember the things I learned without feeling the pain that goes along with all these kinds of things. I don't think I ever hesitated that long before posting an entry. And maybe I will never change, y'know. Maybe I will never find myself; the one hidden behind that mask. Maybe I'm just that apathetic. I don't fuckin' know. All I know for sure is that it will be a life-long battle and learning process.
2011 will be a better year, hopefully.